Part 39: What's the name of this country?
I was on my way back to Raftfleet and I found something I missed.
It's useless to us right now, but if we ever find ourselves with a lot of archers or something, it could be handy.
The form skill makes all enemies to target the frontliner for one round, kind of like a one-off Firefly Rune. That would be handy if it weren't for the fact that most enemies will be targeting the person in front anyway.
Speaking of Firefly Runes, I assembled the pieces I got. This... isn't really something I'm going to want to use. Like I've said, it's a long game, and there will be plenty of encounters even without it.
Then we can return to Raftfleet. Oboro has taken ten minutes...
...to figure out what I knew all along.
Thanks, I guess.
I'm putting him on Shigure next, because why not?
Don't make a fuss, I'll be picking you up again once I have the fucking elf.
Now GET OUT.
You're casting me off? Do you even care about the DoReMi Elves? No, of course you don't. You wouldn't understand.
There aren't even any fucking elves where we're going and you'd be dead weight emphasis dead now go cut yourself or whatever I don't even care BYE.
Another thing I completely forgot about was this alley in Estrise. And this chest.
It's more or less the opposite of the last one, cramming everyone into the front row.
The form skill is a 1x damage all enemy attack, which is about as good as it sounds.
However, it does either go off last in the round, or at the very least tank your speed a lot when you use it, so you're likely to eat some hits with your non-dodging, -20 DEF characters. No one is perfect.
(Well, there's Miakis I guess, but we don't have her. Sad.)
Anyway! We had some business here, even if we don't know what it is yet.
We're treated to a brief pan over the lake...
...and this... individual... standing in front of a cave.
If you have to make that a question, you need new glasses.
So... You're a friend of Lucretia's?
I don't know her well enough to call her a "friend," but she did tell me about you. First things first, though. Show me the Dawn Rune.
We could also ask why, but I've had enough "because I said so" from his "friend" so let's just get it over with.
Here, let me rub it right in your face.
...I see. That's it, without question.
Come with me. This way.
Hey! Hold it! How about tellin' us where we're going?!
Yeah, that's right!
If the rest of you don't want to come, you don't have to. I need only the Prince.
I can see how you get along with Lucretia.
...Are this guy's glasses on too tight or something?
Excuse me, but...
Please tell us your name, at least.
Oh, right. Of course. You may call me "Zweig." And let's just say I'm a... scholar, and leave it at that.
You don't look like a scholar!
I'm gonna interrogate you and you're gonna like it.
And you don't look like a Prince.
Don't get me wrong. That's a compliment.
From generation to generation, most of the Princes in this country have been woefully lacking in intellect.
Now, if you're satisfied, let's go.
Wow, that's our third forced character for this dungeon, I'm so happy.
Zweig is... okay I guess. He's one of a disturbingly high number of people who get a third rune slot upon hitting level 55, which essentially means he's competent but not outstanding until you hit the final dungeon.
Right now he's not very good. He only comes with one rune slot (his second unlocks by level 35) and nothing in it, and nothing else of any particular interest except the Treasure Hunt skill at D rank, which is a significant downgrade from Babbage but not entirely useless. It does, however, limit his combat prowess somewhat.
Boy, this guy is, uh... blunt! We're going to have to swallow our pride and do what he says, Prince...
I do kind of like Zweig, though. He's a lot better at this than Lucretia in that his dickishness is more amusing than infuriating and there's a whole lot less NPCs running around worshipping the ground he walks on. Lyon seems to be of a different opinion, but perhaps they'll warm up to each other on the way.
We don't get very far into the cave before some weird girl stops us.
You again, Lorelai? I told you to stop sneaking around after me.
Lorelai is one of the most well travelled characters in the series, aside from the old standbys "tee hee" and "oops" who tend to pop up anywhere a True Rune rears its head. She's a playable character in both the first and second games, each time picking up a new weapon, but this is her first appearance, timeline wise. She's just 16 here, but Frey doesn't have much room to complain because so's he.
(He does have room to complain because she's a bit of a dick, though.)
You do fall under those categories yourself, you know.
Wait why are you picking on me all of a sudden? I'm completely innocent!
There she goes again...
Is that all-
Wait wait back up is that a whip?
I appreciate the thought.
I'll be cheering you on!
I've eaten bigger men than you alive. Prove to me you've got at least some pride!
You know what? Never mind, Lyon. I'm going to kick her ass.
All right, little Ms. Indiana Jones. Come get some.
Normally, I'd say I'm not the kind of man who beats up someone who fights with a piece of string, but I'm willing to make an exception.
How do you like them apples?
That does it.
You want some more of this?!
Thought as much.
Hey, I wiped the floor with you. Who's the weakling? Say it!
Um... Are you all right?
I'm fine. I've got balls of steel. Runs in the family.
Are you satisfied now?
This way. Follow me.
What do you want now, crazy lady?! He beat you fair and square!
Okay, so... maybe you're not as weak as I thought. I've just got one favor to ask, that's all...
If you weren't a recruitable character, you'd get another whuppin' for that!
Take me with you! Please!
But you are, so you won't.
It's not up to me...
...If I let you go inside, you have to promise to do what you're told. That's the condition.
All right, I promise.
...shouldn't have agreed to that. Now I'm gonna make you wear a polka-dot shirt, clown shoes and a dunce cap.
Yikes! Yikes! The wall just disappeared!
No it didn't! It just slid in to the side, I saw it!
Ack! Scary human magic!
Lucretia asked me to bring you here.
Prince... I hope we can trust this guy.
If we can't, I'll beat him up. Move it!
Lorelai's... also okay. I guess. She comes with the Treasure Hunt skill at D rank just like Zweig, and again just like Zweig she gets a third rune slot when she hits level 55. The Drain Rune she comes with restores HP when attacking, but there are better uses for a rune slot. The important thing to note is that she comes with a lightning rune. This may be important later on. For now though, I'm sticking her in the reserves because, as always, our new recruits come with first level weapons and are thus useless. I mean, I could go back and get them sharpened but fuck that shit.
Just past the place where we met Lorelai, there's another door.
And this one is going to take a little more work to open.
This pattern... Doesn't it look like the Dawn Rune?
Yes, and that's exactly why I brought you here.
You didn't think I brought outsiders here as a mere favor to Lucretia, did you?
Not really, no!
So that's why...
Come, Prince. Bring forth your power!
So he drags Frey up to the door.
Just what the doctor ordered.
My intuition was right...
I don't believe it. These ruins are still alive...
Oh, all right.
Even I don't know what's beyond this point. You'd better be careful.
Zweig raises a good point. This dungeon can be surprisingly tough for a Suikoden game. But of course you don't have to worry about that, so you can just sit back and listen to the music while I suffer for your amusement.
Once this cutscene ends, that is.
Gosh... This is incredible!!!
Stop using up all the punctuation! We're going to need that later.
What... is this place?
These are ruins. Ruins dating back to the ancient Sindar civilization.
Sindar? You mean THAT Sindar?
Indeed. The civilization that once flourished in this land in ages past. They had far more advanced technology than we do today. But they disappeared quite suddenly. Legend has it that the Queendom of Falena was founded not long after that.
I like this one, though. We've been hearing about the Sindar since the second game but we still don't know much about them. Suikoden V is a little more generous in this regard, which is really about time.
I thought they were just some old fairy tale Grampa told me! They were real?!
These ruins are in remarkable shape for being so ancient...
It's almost as if they aren't ruins at all!
I guess I should congratulate you on finding this place.
I was just lucky, that's all.
Congratulations to you on sniffing this place out, too. I've told very few souls of its existence.
Guess I was lucky, too, then!
Hey, you! So that "key" to destroying Hatred Fortress is here, right?
...Is that what Lucretia told you?
Is it here or not?!
Well, I suppose she's not exactly wrong...
Typical. We find ruins as well-preserved as these, and her first thought is to use them as a weapon.
...And women are supposed to be so conciliatory.
Something you'd like to say to me, Zweig?
If the shoe fits...
Apparently this water is really hard or something or Frey is just afraid his new getup will shrink and look even more ridiculous, but we can't pass through here.
But the room has two more exits. We'll head out through the western one first
what the shit was that
The Ceras not-actually-ruins are full of enemies, and may prove a bit of a drain on your resources. Even our Boosted Shigure isn't doing much against these, which does make sense considering they're apparently demon-possessed shields, but it's annoying since they take a long time to die.
Eventually we come across a thing. Stepping on it causes it to sink a bit...
...and opens a passage somewhere.
We don't know where, though. We'll just have to keep going. These guys are probably the least troublesome things in here; they go down pretty quickly.
I could swear I've seen these things somewhere else, but... eh.
Oh, so it was here, apparently.
And then there's this. Much like the smaller ones, stepping on it causes it to sink a bit...
...but unlike them, it turns off some of the water blocking our path. Now we should really have no problem getting past there, but...
...we have to keep going and find another two of them. There's something here, I can smell it!
That's two, and a new formation.
It'd be nice if that was +ATK for the first three and +MAG for the last three, but apparently it's only for the very first and last rows. The form skill is a 1.2x column attack, which is pretty good.
This won't see any use until we find a magic tutor. More importantly...
...that was the final switch, and we're ready to proceed.
I do believe the game is trying to tell me something...
And on the other side, there's finally a change of scenery from those stupid corridors.
Ah, just as I thought.
What do you mean by that?
A river flows into Ceras Lake. But nothing flows out of it. Do you know why the lake doesn't overflow?
I've always heard there's a hole at the bottom of the lake, and the water flows underground from there.
No. The water does flow into an underground water vein. But it doesn't go through a "hole."
...It goes through here.
Fuck you Zweig that looks like a hole to me.
So it looks like my hypothesis was correct.
Ceras Lake is artificial. It was created by the Sindar.
...Created by the Sindar?!
Goddammit, I'm not making another Metal Gear joke!
If we go a little further, I think you'll understand.
Though if the ancient Sindar treasure happens to be a walking tank equipped with nuclear missiles, I wouldn't mind terribly.
Only another few steps down the bridge, shit starts going down.
Well fuck me with a lawnmower.
What the hell IS that thing?!
I don't know.
But I'm naming it "Dead Meat!" Move your butts!
This is Diamond Sun A and Diamond Sun B. They don't look like suns or diamonds. I want my money back.
You like that?!
This boss battle (which I have kindly included in the video for this section because I am great like that) can actually be tricky depending on how prepared you are for it. The left one is strong against physical attacks, so if you didn't think it was worth bringing offensive magic, it can be a huge hassle taking it out. This is where Lorelai's lightning rune can come in handy, but...
...I have Josephine with enough boosters stacked to reach an S rank in lightning damage, so I don't need her.
They like to use multi-target magic-like attacks, but don't do what I did the first time I fought them and try to neuter that with Silent Lake. They're magic-like attacks. Not actual magic. So that just means you have no healing magic for five rounds while they keep pelting you with fireballs, icicles and earthquakes.
That was the first and only time I cared to cast Silent Lake in this game.
Most of their attacks aren't quite as dangerous as they look, though. This one does 44 damage to Lyon. Josephine takes 4.
"What a pain. Wake me up when the battle ends."
I actually just healed Shigure but I think what happened here was he got hit by an ice attack and caught freeze status, got reduced to 1 HP from going three rounds with Boost status, and then took the damage-over-time right after that. Never mind, though; we're almost done.
They had some nice stuff. Mine now.
Prince, what WERE those things?! We have to be careful!
Lyon has a new line after the fight, but there's no need to worry. We're practically done.
Another rune-marked door. This one doesn't need any special effects to open, so we just kick it open and...
...head into the whatever it is. (music)
It looks like... a dead end.
Pretty elaborate dead end. It looks like there should be statues or something. Creepy ones.
Wow! There's a Dawn Rune here, too?
And it's just like the one on the door we saw before.
I wonder what that could mean...
That stupid thing made me jump! But I guess it was just glowing...
Hey, glasses guy! What happened to this "key" to destroying Hatred Fortress?! We haven't seen any "keys" anywhere!
Actually, we have. The "key" has been there all along. Plenty of it, in fact, in Ceras Lake.
Yes, it looks like I was definitely right. And the ruins themselves function perfectly.
Prince, I've seen all I need to see. Let's head back for now.
To be honest, I'm curious to try it out right away. But now is not the time. Lucretia is waiting for us at Raftfleet. I'm sure you have other questions, but I'll explain everything there.
That's the closest thing to a straight answer I've had in days. We're going to get along splendidly, Zweig.
Well don't let it. That's an order. You're one of the few people in this outfit who aren't assholes, perverts or a combination thereof.
Well there's Sialeeds I guess, but she's hazardous to your health before, like, two in the afternoon.
Oh, fuck the Sindar and their ancient engineering.
Five billion random encounters later...
No really, fuck the Sindar. If they can make a door that closes automatically, they can make a dungeon you can Escape Scroll out of! Fucking fuck those fucking fucks.
At least the path is relatively short. There's no need to go into any of the side paths again unless you think you missed something. I don't. And even if I did, I don't care.
I MISSED YOU
GET IN MY PARTY
That lady wasn't there a second ago, was she...?
I-I didn't see her before, either...
Yeah, well, you know. Things happen, and... Couldn't you just tell me? Please? Please?
It's... the Queendom of Falena.
What? Is that place still around?
Oh! Oh! Come with me! We have fish!
Okay, I made up my mind!
It must be fate, us running into each other like this. Would you mind watching over me?
MORE ENTHUSIASM! MORE!
In that case, as a token of our new partnership, I'll take you wherever you wanna go! Really quick, too!
See? Don't say I didn't warn you! She's starting to talk all weird!
You shut your mouth and show some respect for the best character in the game, you little shrimp!
Okay, just think of where you wanna go. Everyone ready? Get set!
Off we go!
"So you guys don't know where we are either?"
"Perhaps I should have asked if he meant his left or mine..."
"Oh no, did I forget to compensate for rotation again?"
It is of course also possible to get your butt handed to you by Lorelai if you're terrible.
Hmph! Typical weak little man! You're even softer than you look, if that's possible! Too bad for you, Zweig!
Why do I need your approval on whom to take with me? Oh well... If you're going to be stubborn, Lorelai, I suppose we'll have to use force.
...Although that's not really something I'm keen on doing.
Let's come back later.
But we don't have much time!
And you don't even get a game over for it.
You should probably feel bad, though.